Rucker Leads Blazers Past Prairie View A&M, 76-70

Rod Rucker poured in a game-high 25 points and posted his second double-double of the season

Nov. 20, 2012

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- Rod Rucker posted his second double-double in as many games to help lead the UAB men's basketball team in a come-frome-behind victory vs. Prairie View A&M, 76-70, inside Bartow Arena on Tuesday night.

UAB (3-1) trailed the Panthers, 38-33, at halftime and was out-rebounded by 10 in the first half.  

Following intermission, the Blazers held its first lead of the game at the 18:50 mark on a Rucker basket as part of a 13-0 run to begin the second half.  UAB would not relinquish the score advantage the rest of the way.

“That’s a big-time win.  We beat a good team tonight," head coach Jerod Haase said.  "I thought we competed tonight, especially in the second half.  If we’re not competing as hard as we can, we are going to have some problems.  Nobody said it was going to be easy.”

The Blazers had a difficult time finding the bottom of the basket on Tuesday night, shooting just 33.3 percent from the floor (22-for-66).  However, UAB made up for its missed shots on the floor at the charity stripe, getting to the line 37 times and sinking 28 shots (75.7 percent).

One player that was a bright on the floor all night was Rucker, who led all scorers with 25 points, making 8-of-12 shots and grabbing 12 rebounds.  The Elberton, Ga., native's point total marked a season-high and the most by a UAB player this season.

“He makes coaches look good," Haase said.  "I love having him on our team.  You know he’s going to bring it every day in practice and in games.”

Jordan Swing, Isiah Jones and Fahro Alihodzic each chipped in with 10 points apiece.  Swing was a pefect 8-for-8 at the foul line for the Blazers.

Also contributing was Robert Williams, who pulled down nine rebounds, including five offensive boards.

PVAMU (2-4) was led by Ryan Gesiakowski and Carl Blair, who charted 18 and 15 points, respectively.

The Panthers out-shot the Blazers, making 40.5 percent from the floor, but only attempted nine free throws in the loss.

After playing three of its first four games at home, UAB hits the road for the next five contests, starting with Illinois State on Friday at 5 p.m. CT in South Padre Island, Texas.  The Blazers will follow that up by playing either TCU or Northwestern on Saturday at either 5 p.m. CT or 7 p.m. CT, with both games being part of the South Padre Island Invitational.